Innovative Ministry

Innovative Ministry
Forget The Extras – Your Church Needs To Get The Basics Right
Your church might not have the budget or the staff to do the extras, but that’s okay. You can do what matters.

There are so many great tools available to churches today.

From social media, to audio and video tools, to cool giveaways for first-time guests.

But none of that matters until you’re doing the essentials well.

Be Good, Not Fancy

This week I went to a restaurant with a large ...

Continue Reading ...
Innovative Ministry
Think Bigger: Why “How Do I Get Our Church To Grow?” Is The Wrong Question
I’m grateful for the church growth movement. But I want more.

In the last 40 years, church growth has moved from an indefinable mystery to a quantifiable science.

There are innumerable books, conferences, classes, podcasts, magazines and blogs dedicated to the study of church growth. What causes it? What hinders it? What can we do to make ...

Continue Reading ...
Innovative Ministry
Intentional Friendliness: Making A Great First Impression In A Smaller Church
Coming to a small church for the first time is an act of great vulnerability. So it’s important to do the personal things well.

You only get one chance to make a first impression.

That’s one of those truisms that’s actually true – in church and in life.

One of the hallmarks of healthy churches is that they work hard at making a good first impression. Helping guests make the leap from ...

Continue Reading ...
Innovative Ministry
Engagement: A Small Church Advantage We Need To Cultivate
Getting a few people engaged and involved is far more important than attracting a big crowd.

The smaller the group, the more likely there will be a higher percentage of members engaged in the goals of the team.

This is true for groups of all types, including churches.

In the last few years I’ve come to appreciate this principle in some very concrete ways. And it’s ...

Continue Reading ...
Innovative Ministry
Stop Complicating Ministry: The Smaller The Church, The Simpler We Need To Keep It
Ministry will never be easy, but it doesn’t have to be as complicated as we make it.

So, you pastor a small, struggling church.

You’re trying to help it become less small and less struggling, but all the “can’t miss” answers from the latest church growth conferences never seem to work for you.

You don’t have a big worship team singing ...

Continue Reading ...
Innovative Ministry
No, A Church’s Budget Is Not Always A Reflection Of Their Priorities
Compassion, worship, discipleship and evangelism don’t need to be in the budget to be a priority. They just need to happen.

One of the airtight principles of church leadership is that you can tell what a church’s priorities are by looking at where they allocate their funds.

That is true in some churches, but not in all. Maybe not in most.

Here’s why.

The vast majority of churches are small, ...

Continue Reading ...
Innovative Ministry
Is Your Church Resisting Necessary Change? Try This Helpful Strategy
Wise and loving pastors don’t attack people’s affection for the past, they ease their fears about the future.

Not all change is good.

The church exists to worship the God who never changes, as seen in a book whose newest pages are 2,000 years old. That’s some serious long-term consistency.

But the way that permanent message is delivered always changes. Traditions that we think of ...

Continue Reading ...
Innovative Ministry
5 Preaching Styles In 25 Years (Here's What I Changed And Why)
Our language keeps changing, our common experiences are fewer, and universal illustrations no longer are.

Preaching matters.

According to no less an authority than the Apostle Paul, the spoken message of Christ crucified is one the ways God has chosen to bring his message of salvation to the world (1 Corinthians 1:18-25).

Because preaching matters, those of us who are entrusted to ...

Continue Reading ...
Innovative Ministry
New Music Is Not Worth Fighting For – So What Is?
Change may be necessary. But we need to get there by fighting the important battles, not the trivial ones.

Are you a pastor trying to make needed changes in the church, but meeting a lot of resistance every time you introduce something new, like a worship song, curriculum or order of service?

Here’s a universal truth that I discovered through decades of experience trying to ...

Continue Reading ...
Innovative Ministry
Pastoral Transition: Six Factors That Help A Church Navigate Big Changes
Churches that resist change have a harder time when change is needed. Churches that regularly make smaller transitions hone their transition skills.

Six months ago today, our church made our biggest transition in a quarter century.

After being the lead pastor for 25 years, I stepped aside so that Gary Garcia (the youth pastor who has been with me for that entire time) could take my position, while I became the teaching pastor. ...

Continue Reading ...
Include results from Christianity Today

Read More from Karl

Follow Christianity Today

Free Newsletters

More Newsletters ...